NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has extended the timeline for the Government of India to finalise the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy (NPPP)till November 27. The decision was made by a two member Bench constituted by Justice Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya and Justice GS Singhvi. Another important announcement made by the Supreme Court in this regard is its direction for the Cabinet to adhere to a price-based mechanism. However, there shall be no hard and fast specification on the formula for the mechanism, the Bench decided.
The Supreme Court further criticised the government on the latter’s non committal stance in the context of including basic drugs within the price control ambit.
It was only in the last week that the Court had directed the Government to keep the present pricing system unchanged. The rising prices of essential drugs have almost made it difficult for the average man to afford them. The Supreme Court has said, "While adjourning the case, we make it clear that the government should not alter the price structure of the drugs as notified vide Notification dated 13.07.1999 and similar notifications which may have been issued thereafter."